We all know that Windows 10 is the most popular OS amongst its users. By default Windows, hide some files and folders in order to prevent or restrict its users to modify or delete them. However, if you want Windows to show these hidden files or folders then there are ways to do this. In this guide, I will show you how to show hidden files and folders in Windows and Mac.
As per Windows, there are two types of files or folders which are classified as hidden.
1. Files and Folders hide by the user knowingly.
2. Protected Operating System files which are very important for the smooth functioning of Windows, they are hidden to avoid deletion and modification because any modification in these files can damage the operating system.
It is very important for a user to know how to access and view these hidden files or folders because you may need to access those for your personal requirement or to repair a problem on your computer which requires you to access system hidden files.
How to Show Hidden Files and Folders in Windows 10?
Without wasting any more time lets start the ways to show hidden files and folders in Windows.
From File Explorer
- Open File Explorer and click the View tab and then navigate to the Show/Hide section.
- Now click on the checkbox named Hidden items in the Show/hide section.
- Doing so File Explorer will now show hidden files and will retain this setting until you edit it.
From Control Panel
You have to follow these steps to view the hidden files and system hidden files in Windows.
- From the Windows Desktop Screen, select the Control Panel application.
- Control Panel will open and now you have to select the “More Settings” option at the very bottom.
- Now a traditional Windows Control Panel will open. Click on “Appearance and Personalization”.
- Now the “Appearance and Personalization” section will open. In that section, click on “Folder or File Explorer Options”.
- Now in “Folder Options” click on View Tab. In Advanced settings, click on the radio button named “Show hidden files, folders and devices” and click OK button.
- Below there is a checkbox named “Hide extensions for known file types”, remove the checkmark from that checkbox.
- Below that there is another last checkmark named “Hide protected operating system files”, remove the checkmark from that checkbox too. A popup warning will appear seeking permission from the user to display these hidden system operating files, click on YES.
- Press the Apply button and OK button at the bottom of the folder options section.
- Close the Control Panel Window, you can now see all files, folders, and drivers hidden in Windows.
- You can check if they are hidden by accessing C drive and looking for a program named “Program Data”.
- A greyed-out icon will be seen named “ProgramData” thereby enabling you to view hidden files and folders.
Using the Search Option
- Click on the start button and go to the search box and type “Regedit” and press Enter.
- A Window named User Account Control will pop up, click on Yes so as to confirm that you are an administrator.
- You have to find this key in Regedit
- Click on advanced Window and go to the right side were the values can be seen, find the value hidden, and click on it.
- Right-click on it, a popup named Edit DWord (32-bit) will appear on the screen, change the value to 1. You can set the value to 2 to hide these files and folders.
- If you want to show the Protected Operating System files then set the value for SuperHidden to 1. You can set this value to 2 to hide protected operating system files.
These are a few methods, implemented to view the hidden files or folders on Windows. If you want to view hidden files on Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10, it can be for clearing junks, accessing data for personal reasons, for troubleshooting a bug, all the above methods will help you in completing your work successfully.
How to Show Protected Operating System Files in Windows?
The second type of hidden files is protected operating system files. When you change the settings to show hidden files and folders, Windows will still continue to hide these protected operating system files. Such files are known as the hidden files with the system attribute.
As we have already discussed that all these files are kept protected by default to avoid any deletion or modification because any deletion or modification in these files may damage your operating system.
However, if you need to view these protected operating system files, you can very well show these hidden files by changing a setting. Such activities are not recommended unless you need to access one of these files or folders for some specific reasons. To do so follow these steps:
- Open the Folder Options window and navigate to the View toolbar and click the Options button.
- Next, click on the View tab and uncheck the ‘Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)’ box.
- A warning may appear and state that deleting or editing protected operating system files could break your operating system. However, if you know what you are doing, click Yes to continue.
- Click OK to save the changed settings.
- Now, Windows will start showing your protected operating system files as well as normally hidden files.
- Navigate to the Folder Options window and check the Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) checkbox again if you want to hide these files.
How to Show Hidden Files and Folders in Mac?
Similar to Windows, MAC OS hides some files from users. These files are system files that are very important for smooth functioning and any modification done to these files can damage the system. Also, there are special apps that enable users to hide regular files so as to protect them from prying eyes. However, you sometimes may need to access these hidden files for troubleshooting or just have to clean up for storage space. It is also possible that a user hides the files and completely forgets it. It is essential to know the methods to show hidden files and folders on MAC.
The terminal is a default application which can be found on Launchpad. It enables users to perform different operations using particular commands.
- Open the Terminal Application from Launchpad.
- Type the following command in the terminal window.
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool true killall Finder
This command will restart the finder and you will be able to see the hidden files.
Use Finder- Funter App
This application is designed particularly to display hidden files on MAC. It is available on the App Store and you can download it.
- When you open the app, its small icon appears in Menu Bar. You have to click this icon and then choose to “show” option.
- You can also, right-click on a file and then click on the “Hide with Funter” option. And then all the hidden files will be visible.
It also provides you with the search option to type a particular file’s name and find it. You can manage all the hidden files using this app. If you need to show hidden files on MAC, for clearing junks, accessing for personal reasons, troubleshooting, and all the above methods will help you in completing your work successfully.
How to Hide Files and Folders in Windows 10?
There are always some important files or folders, secret data which you do not want anyone to see if you are sharing a PC, or there are files which you think someone may modify or delete if there is a lack of storage space, so it is advisable to hide files in such cases so that not everyone can know about it. There are two methods to hide files in Windows 10.
Using File Explorer
- Open any computer drive or file explorer and go to the file or folder which you will be hiding.
- Right–click the file and click on properties.
- Go to the General Tab and check the box labeled as hidden.
- Click OK and the file or folder will be hidden. Anytime you can uncheck the box to show the file.
These are the methods to show or hide the files and folders on Windows 10. Using these methods one can successfully show or hide files and folders in Windows 10. If you feel this article helpful please like, share, and follow our Facebook page and keep visiting our website for such tutorials.